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Another day, another traditional PC manufacturer ready to try its hand at this LCD TV malarkey. We’ve already seen such PC names as ViewSonic, Relisys and Acer have a crack at carrying their PC monitor know-how over into the AV world (with decidedly mixed results, it must be said), and now no less a name than Dell has joined the throng.
The brand currently has two fully fledged LCD TVs available: the 37in W3702MC, and the 32in W3202MC we’re looking at here. First impressions, though, suggest that this supposed TV is in fact still a PC monitor, as its simple grey bezel design smacks much more of the office than of the living room. What’s more, although the W3202MC does have speakers, these are externally mounted items rather than being built into the main TV chassis – another indication that perhaps the W3202MC is adapted PC screen technology rather than a TV built from the ground up for domestic use.
Don’t conclude from what we’ve just said, though, that the W3202MC is actually ugly. Actually the bezel is slim enough to look stylish, and the overall impact of the design is passably attractive in a subtle kind of way.
Signs that Dell really may have taken its TV duties seriously with the W3202MC become impressively apparent with its connections. HDMI and component options make sure the TV meets the connectivity part of the AV industry’s HD Ready specifications, while a pair of Scarts, an RF aerial jack and the usual S-Video and composite video fluff meet with our ‘normal’ TV expectations.
That’s not to say that Dell has simply ditched its PC heritage, of course. The W3202MC caters for computers unusually well, in fact, with both D-Sub VGA and DVI PC connection options. What’s more, the DVI can also be set to receive HD video sources, making the W3202MC one of only a very select band of sub-£1k 32in LCD TVs to provide two digital video input options. Yee and, indeed, hah!